We come from countries in North America, Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe where we live and work among the people. In response to a call from our loving God, we give our lives to work toward achieving God’s desire for a just and peaceful world for all peoples.
On Saturday, March 14th, I gave a retreat day at Jude’s Parish Hall, South Holland, IL. The focus was Discerning Heart: Noticing God’s Presence and God’s Guidance.There was ample time for prayer and conversation. While eight (8) of the thirteen (13) associates were from the South Holland Community, there were representatives of the Joliet, Kankakee and Chicago Communities. The open sharing of their prayer experiences was a profound Visitation experience. I am grateful to sister Marilyn Medinger and the South Holland Associates for their planning and hospitality.
Front Row L-R: Donna Kirk, Susan Morris, Billie Porte, sister Marilyn Medinger Back Row L-R: sister Bea Baker, Louise Renz, Alicia Parkinson, Eva Williams, Maria Vazquez, Mary Jo Hoag, Mary Simms, Gerry Radke, Mary Turton
On Friday, March 13th, I was warmly welcomed by the Associates at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Chicago. After attending Liturgy with Sr. Bea Baker and a Joliet Associate on Sunday, March 15th, I travelled to Kankakee to meet with associates and sisters. My days were full and enriched by the Congregation of Notre Dame family in Illinois.
When recently asked to share an article on the founding of ARCAN (Atlantic Religious Congregation Associate Networking) I was flooded with memories of our very simple beginning. As Sr. Alma MacLellan, CND, and I were working as co-coordinators in Associate Relationship we had often wondered how other congregations were making out in this relatively new venture. After a time of discernment, letters were sent off to our Maritime communities to invite those who were involved in associate leadership to gather together for a two-day sharing session with us in Pictou. We began our meeting with prayer followed by a very open agenda, which offered lots of opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and ended with plans to gather again. From these simple beginnings ARCAN has grown into a vibrant network for all religious and associates in Atlantic Canada.
A few years ago I was taking part in a faith based inter-generational event on environmental issues. One of the young women present expressed her deep felt gratitude for the presence of those of us from the "older" generation. She said she hears so often that the world is counting on the next generation of young people to do things differently with the earth, "But", she said, "we can't do it alone. We need you to be with us." At that moment it struck me how important it is to show young people that we are taking this seriously and that we are willing to do something. This could be a wonderful way to express our love to them, to show them that we care so much about their future that we are ready to address some challenging aspects of the present. We are called to love!
We have begun a journey together for the Corporate Stance on Climate Change in view of the 21st Global Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December of this year. This action that we are inviting you to is a critically important part of helping Canada to play a positive role at the Paris Conference.
This weekend, March 28, Earth Hour is celebrating its ninth anniversary. People everywhere – individuals, and businesses, are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour, from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. as a “nudge” to help us to be more aware about climate change and its effects in our world. Becoming more aware will make us want to increase our support for urgent action. For one hour, we can focus on our commitment to our planet. We could converse with a neighbour, have a candlelight dinner, gaze at the stars, and reflect with gratitude for all we receive from the Earth.
In a few months, a new global climate deal will be negotiated. On March 28, 6 continents, 120 countries and 24 times zones will be united in an action of turning off the lights to send a strong global message. Earth Hour shows how people can come together for a common cause. For photos and suggestions, see www.earthhour.org
This year, Earth Hour Day, a global movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, will be marked on Saturday, March 28. Between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Millions of individuals, communities, households and businesses around the world are encouraged to switch off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.[more]